Theraworx Relief Review - Does It Work and Is It Safe?

By Anthony Dugarte, M.D., C.S.C.S
Updated on: Jan 6, 2020

Theraworx Relief promises to prevent cramps with their non-prescription, fast-absorbing foam.

Leg cramps are involuntary and painful muscle contractions, most commonly occurring at night. Occuring in 50-60% of adults, they typically target your calf muscles, though anywhere from the thigh to foot can be affected.

The exact mechanism is unknown, but many variables are thought to be at play. Most cases are idiopathic - simply arising spontaneously without warning. Other causes may be related to nerve dysfunction, intense exercise, lack of exercise, pregnancy, electrolyte imbalance, vascular disease, and medications.

The possible sources of cramping are numerous, thus this condition affects a wide array of populations; from high level athletes to the elderly. Treatment options are also many, though finding relief can be challenging when the cause is unknown.

In this article, we review the scientific support for the safety and efficacy of this product.

How to Use Theraworx

In 3 easy steps, Theraworx is said to offer relief within the first 2-weeks with twice daily use:

  1. Shake bottle and apply 2 pumps of foam to the muscles where you get cramps
  2. Rub the foam into the muscle until it is completely absorbed
  3. Repeat and let dry

Theraworx Active Ingredient: Does It Work?

Theraworx believes relief is possible through the action of their active ingredient: Magnesium Sulfate (Magnesia sulphurica) 6X 0.05% HPUS (Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States - this indicates that this product is FDA-recognized and follows the HPUS rules)

Magnesium is involved in countless reactions in your body. As deficiency is thought to be associated with muscle cramping, treatment with magnesium is available in various forms.

While support for leg cramp relief through orally administered magnesium is mixed, Theraworx offers a topical formula.

Theraworx is thought to address a potential and important limitation of oral magnesium supplementation - many previous studies administered oral magnesium to those not deficient, resulting in the kidney likely removing the excess. If the excess magnesium is removed before its concentration is increased in cramping leg muscles, it is rendered useless.

Theraworx was found to decrease the severity and frequency of nighttime leg cramps over the course of 4-weeks when compared to placebo. A possible mechanism for these findings is that topical magnesium may pass through muscle tissue before absorption and excretion by the kidneys.

As the primary function of the skin is to serve as a protective barrier, its capacity to absorb is limited, however. Getting through water-tight layers of your skin requires special formulations of supplements and medications.

The Israeli army found that magnesium was not absorbed through the skin when soldiers administered a magnesium containing protective lotion. These findings were corroborated a few years later; there were no differences in magnesium levels for those using a magnesium rich lotion or placebo lotion.

A study supporting the possibility of magnesium absorption through the skin found elevated levels in 16 of 19 subjects that bathed in magnesium solutions for 12 minutes daily over 1-week.

The Takeaway:

Scientific support for oral administration of magnesium for leg cramps is mixed, though likely most promising in pregnant women. Shortcoming of this method of administration are thought to result from excess magnesium being removed by the kidneys before it can act on muscle.

Theraworx claims to get around this issue by applying topical magnesium for absorption directly into the muscle. Relief for your cramps with this method proved promising when compared to placebo. Evidence supporting the skin’s ability to absorb magnesium is just as mixed as that for oral formulations, however.

Though topical magnesium may be a more effective way to relieve muscle cramps, most studies, including the Therwarox trial, state that much more work is needed to fully characterize the role for this method of delivery.

With such limited support and difficulty identifying concentrations of magnesium used in older studies to compare to the contents of Theroworx, it is challenging to support claims that this product is effective in treating leg cramps.

Safety

The Theraworx trial claims that there are no known side effects, though their site states mild skin reactions are possible. This is likely because topical formulations bypass your gastrointestinal tract.

Three times daily application of 10ml magnesium-rich lotion was not associated with serious side effects, nor were toxic levels of magnesium found in either the treatment or placebo groups.

Similarly, there are no known medications that would interact dangerously with this topical application, though effectiveness may be reduced if used in conjunction with other creams as they can serve as a barrier.

The Takeaway:

Topical magnesium acts at the site of your symptoms and is unlikely to have whole-body effects or dangerous interactions as it is not ingested. It’s still a good idea to discuss use with a doctor first.

The Cost & Where To Buy

You can order Thereworx Relief directly from their site and expect to receive your order in 3-6 business days. Your 7.1oz bottle is $20.49 + shipping and handling. Theraworx is also available for purchase via phone or through Amazon. They do not offer automated shipping services.

Though this product may be obtained in-person elsewhere; Target, Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens. Keep in mind that their 30-day money-back guarantee is only supported through the website, phone, or Amazon purchases.

Are There Any Alternatives?

There are other magnesium sulfate-based topical ointments on the market. Kirkman offers similar products, though you get about half the amount for the same price when compared to Theraworx.

Cryoderm offers a cream that is said to calm muscles and nerves though magnesium harvested from the Dead Sea. This product differs in that magnesium chloride is the active ingredient, and that it costs more than double for a similar amount when compared to Theraworx.

Lastly, there are a number of oral magnesium supplements offered by various retailers. Available in tablet and capsule form, these products are also said to provide relief for muscle cramps.

Keep in mind that while topical creams and foams act locally, and are therefore much less likely to affect you systemically, the effects of ingestible supplements may not be contained to the cramping muscles.

Seek medical opinion before use of these products.

What Are Users Saying?

Here on HighYa, 38 users rated the product at 4.1 out of 5 stars. Users seem to be generally satisfied with Theraworx.

Happy customers report fast and effective relief with Theraworx.

One negative reviewer describes his cramps returning after discontinuing the use of Theraworx. Another describes effectiveness at other painful sites, though it does not seem to work on the pain associated with his total knee replacement.

The Bottom Line: Is Theraworx Worth It?

Both oral and topical magnesium supplements have mixed support regarding efficacy. While topical magnesium was most effective in reducing the severity and frequency of leg cramps in pregnant women, report in other populations is lacking.

Topical magnesium works at the site of application and is not associated with whole-body effects or drug interactions that may be possible with oral magnesium.

Despite mixed research results regarding effectiveness, Theraworx may be a reasonable option for those that battle leg cramps because of its favorable safety profile. The upside would be pain relief and avoiding medical treatment.

The downside would be continued pain and the need to find relief elsewhere. Speaking with your doctor before use is still your best bet.


Customer Reviews

Start your review of Theraworx Relief:
  • 39 Customer Reviews
  • 85% Recommend This Company
4.1 out of 5
5 star: 64% 4 star: 12% 3 star: 5% 2 star: 5% 1 star: 12%

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  • My difficulties dispensing

    Overall Experience:

    I bought this product some time ago and didn't really use it because it was so hard for me to pump the container. I'm 82 years old without a lot of strength in my hands, and trying to pump it would very often actually set off hand pain and cramps. I finally pulled it out again and tried for two days and it did seem to help, except it was so difficult for me to pump. My son suggested removing the cap but then it was just clear liquid. I did try anyway and ended up spilling the liquid all over. If they would put their product in a lighter plastic that I could more readily pump, I would try again.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Theraworx doesn't work

    • By Elaine J.,
    • Illinois,
    • Nov 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I was so hoping that this product would work. After suffering with leg cramps for 40 years, as we all know the FDA cares nothing about us and viciously and maliciously pulled the quinine sulfate off. It was the only thing that worked, and they pulled it off the market, leaving us with nothing. Anyway, Theraworx doesn't work. Tonight, for example, I applied it according to directions three different times and I'm continuing to cramp and cramp, so they need to go back to the drawing board. Sorry, it doesn't work for such a debilitating condition.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Another gimmick

    • By Denise Z.,
    • Salina, KS,
    • Feb 19, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I paid $20 for this product and it's a JOKE! I have used 6 pumps, let dry, reapplied and am still waking up in pain. I tried it at work, rest and gym, no relief. I'll pay $15 less and use the trustworthy Icy Hot.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Didn’t work for me at all.

    • By Lisa M.,
    • Philadelphia, PA,
    • Jun 6, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I have had leg cramps at night since age 6. I was praying this stuff would work. It was difficult to dispense and simply did not prevent or stop cramps! Also, it was very expensive. Can't recommend this at all.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Doesn’t work with artificial replacements.

    • By Roger J.,
    • Chattanooga, TN,
    • Oct 28, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Excruciating pain using on my artificial knee. Works great with my regular knee. Perhaps doesn’t work with artificial joints. Would not recommend using on areas of artificial appliances.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Okay but not the best

    • By Alex W.,
    • Boston, MA,
    • Jul 10, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I am prone to really painful foot cramps that can keep me up at night. I tried Theraworx and while it did eventually help, I had to repeat the spraying several times over about 15 minutes period because as soon as the cramps started to pass they then came back. Admittedly, several sprays a number of times did finally seem to do the job. However, I had been using the leg cramp pills at the drug store and they took just about just as long to work and were a lot cheaper. Maybe it works better for leg cramps though, but I don't experience those.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Side effects

    • By James S.,
    • Barker, NY,
    • Nov 19, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    After using the product for several weeks, it seems to be addictive. What I mean is that if you try to quit, the cramps return and are much worse. Also, the cramps sometimes come back but in a different place in the muscle like where they are attached. Might have to consult my doctor.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Almost a believer

    • By Ralph M.,
    • Spring Branch, TX,
    • Oct 21, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I have had nighttime leg cramps for decades. Many many years ago you could buy Quinine over the counter and it was by far the best in relieving legs cramps. But there were a few deaths attributed to the drug and the FDA, with urging from Bayer, made it a prescription drug and also FDA said doctors could only prescribe it for malaria. So then I started trying every product to relieve the leg cramps. If you heard of one, I tried it. Of late, I found a product called Pickle Juice (not out a pickle jar), and that is good. Real pickle juice is also very good.

    Now this product, Theraworx. It does help after I get a cramp, rub it in and walk around, but walking around always relieved the cramps anyway. So I am not convinced. What I really want is something that prevents the cramp in the first place. I guess what I am saying is I want to prevent the pain, not relieve the pain.

    What I have been doing of late is sleeping under a heated blanket. Just cover your legs because covering your torso makes it too hot. Last night I had zero leg cramps, the night before I had one mild cramp. The night before no leg cramps. Now I just started using the heated blanket so I am not going to shout "Eureka I found it," but it sure seems to be working for me. Recommending Theraworx to a friend is not something I would do because what works for one might not work for another. You have to try it yourself.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Wife apparently allergic to Aloe Vera oil

    • By Alec S.,
    • Alberta, Canada,
    • Sep 30, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Your product sounds great and I think would benefit most people but it appears that my wife is allergic to Aloe Vera oil. She experiences severe pain anyplace that the product touches on her skin. Sorry, we will be unable to use this product further.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Day two

    Overall Experience:

    I have within a year started to suffer leg cramps that have become severe. The pain has been awful, and at times I want to die. Especially one night I had cramps on the entire lower half of my body that were going off like fireworks. It scared my husband so much that he called 911 and the police and ambulance and the took me to the hospital. The doctor gave me a shot Morphine, which left me goofy. It has affected my life, and every evening I get scared I will get them and 8 out of 10 times I do.

    Last night, I applied the Theraworx as directed and low and behold I suffered two attacks I kept reapplying the ointment and yes it helped a tiny bit, but they still happened. I am going to apply it again today and pray it will work. I will update.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Theraworx - calves cramping

    • By Patricia S.,
    • Warwick, RI,
    • Jul 19, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    The last three days I woke up with severe cramps in my calves (both of them). I heard about Theraworx, so I went to Walgreens and bought a bottle. Since the cramps already happened, I applied the Theraworx after the fact and although I didn't get instant relief the next day I thought I was going to get another cramp and it seemed to stop much quicker with the Theraworx. I applied it again last night after I went to bed and this morning I'm okay. Just praying this stuff works on a regular basis. I'm 64 years old and leg cramping is new for me. I do remember calling the ambulance several times for my mom because she had leg cramps on a regular basis. Theraworx wasn't around then, she had to take Quinine, which has since been taken off the market.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


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